Earlier this year, the percentage of women running companies in the Fortune 500 reached an all-time high, and the share of women sitting on their boards nearly doubled. For millennial women, who grew up being told we were born to lead, the idea of gender equality in the workplace has always been a given. We’ve seen women overtake men on university and college campuses. We’ve watched the wage gap narrow. We’ve witnessed countless women across the world own their power, take on executive- and senior-level roles, and build empires. Thanks to pioneering Baby Boomers who paved the way and reached out to the Gen Xers following them, our potential has always felt limitless — as long as we’re willing to put in the hard work.
To help inspire the next generation to continue chipping away at the glass ceiling, we’re highlighting 29 influential women who are true champions of female leadership. Shattering stereotypes in the boardroom and innovating in ways that were previously unimaginable, these women are writing their own rules for success, challenging workplace conventions, and owning their individuality — and they are all speakers at Dmexco, an upcoming digital industry conference in Köln, Germany. Read on as they share their surprising histories, their proudest moments, and the best and worst advice they’ve ever received.